There is a certain charm and adventure to traveling in a country that is so removed from what is normal and figuring out how to get around.
Many years ago in the mid 90s my then boyfriend – who is now my husband was invited by a friend working in Bhutan to visit him. A restricted country, Bhutan is a small South Asian kingdom landlocked in eastern Himalaya. To my backpacking adventure seeking boyfriend this was an invitation of a lifetime. But I had just joined Tom Ford’s Gucci team in Hong Kong – time off would be impossible. Disappointed that I wouldn’t join, he generously declined the invitation. Subsequently, I endured years of teasing about the adventure that could have been.
Over the years – life happened. We got married, moved to New York City, he went back to school, we had career changes, 911 happened, we had children and moved back to Hong Kong. Life has a way of sneaking by quickly.
Back in Hong Kong the idea of exotic travel crept up again. But with two young children in tow, traveling wasn’t as easy as pick up and go – or so I thought. By our fifth year in Hong Kong our kids were now seasoned back packers and we were ready for Bhutan.
Bhutan is a beautifully spiritual and rugged country. Buddhism plays a large role in every day life with temples and giant prayer wheels dotting the country side. We cycled, hiked, water rafted and tried archery while touring three different regions of Bhutan. The food is simple and the people were wonderful. Taking this trip with our kids made it worth the twenty years of waiting. This trip was nothing short of magical.
When it came to creating a new collection – Mantra came to me quickly. The raw allure of Bhutan has left an indelible impression of colours, prayer wheels, natural stones and daggers. Mantra is a simple paired down collection of all these colours, shapes, textures mixed with natural stones.